Tom DeLonge Names the Sci-Fi Movies That Influenced Directorial Debut ‘Monsters of California’
If there’s one thing that Blink-182/Angels & Airwaves maestro Tom DeLonge loves as much as music, it’s investigating and discussing UFOs. In fact, his feature directorial debut – sci-fi adventure Monsters of California – arrived earlier this month, and DeLonge recently revealed which sci-fi films played a part in its development.
In a new interview with Polygon (published on Oct. 26), DeLonge spoke at length about the movie. When asked “about science fiction films [he] love[s] that might have informed Monsters of California” – as well as if he has “genre touchstones” and was “looking to challenge the classics” with the film – he replied: “There are a lot of movies that I think get some things right, but a lot of times, they’re just trying to make a really good movie that sells tickets, right?”
He continued [via Polygon]:
So it’s like 'Close Encounters [of the Third Kind]'… Everything about that was perfect up until the smiling aliens at the end, and everyone hugging. That part is the bad part. Or look at a newer movie, like 'Everything Everywhere All at Once.' It got consciousness right — it’s all happening at the exact same moment. But it was so chaotic that a lot of people might not have totally gotten the message. It’s a wonderful, fucking awesome movie, so maybe they did.
But then you have things like 'Back to the Future,' when he’s in the DeLorean, and pop, goes right from a parking lot into a barn. That is how the universe works. Everything that did happen can happen and will happen, is happening all at once. Time is parallel. It’s not linear; we just think it’s linear. And so you have UFOs, and you have these things that took us literally 70 years to realize: These are not crafts coming from other planets; these are crafts that are traversing the frequencies of time. And it’s complicated. We have to realize that everything we can imagine happening is actually happening. So once we build the tools to discover that, to utilize that, the world is going to change in crazy ways.
Clearly, those are some great picks to draw from, as they’re arguably three of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time.
Prior to that part of the discussion, DeLonge was asked when “the idea for Monsters of California” first came to him. Unsurprisingly, he said that Angels & Airwaves’ multimedia Love project (from about 10 years ago) paved the way for it [via Polygon]:
With Angels & Airwaves like 15 years ago, I started getting into the multimedia aspect of music and narratives and short stories and animations. We did an arthouse sci-fi film called 'Love' that won a bunch of awards. A lot of the Blink fans were like, “This shit’s boring!” I’m like, “Eh, you don’t get it.”
But 'Monsters of California' started probably like five years ago, six, maybe even seven. Writing a script, rewriting it, rewriting it, rewriting it, rewriting it, finding a partner, COVID hitting, finally getting it off the ground, and now we’re in a really good space and it’s finally out, and I’m really proud of it. We did this thing with literal peanuts. Every $100 bill was like a tragedy to spend. We were able to squeeze it all onto the camera, so I’m really proud of it.
Monsters of California isn’t the only recent case of DeLonge taking his love of sci-fi to the screen, either, as he’s also working with Legendary Television on an adaptation of his Sekret Machines novels. Last month, he confessed that he wasn’t even planning to return to music until he learned about Blink-182 bandmate Mark Hoppus’ cancer diagnosis.
Speaking of Blink-182, their comeback album (One More Time...) released on Oct. 20, 2023. It’s the first studio LP with the beloved trio – DeLonge, Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker – since 2011’s Neighborhoods, and so far, fans seem to be loving it. Naturally, they've announced a gigantic 2024 stadium and arena tour (with support from Pierce the Veil) to honor the record.
So, have you seen Monsters of California and/or any of the films that influenced it? If so, what’d you think of them? Let us know!
Musicians That Believe in Aliens
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